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Japan's Negative Risk Premium in Interest Rates: The Liquidity Trap and the Fall in Bank Lending

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  • Rishi Goyal

    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Ronald McKinnon

Abstract

Japan's interest rates have been compressed toward zero because of pressure coming through the foreign exchanges. Twenty years of current-account surpluses have led to a huge buildup of claims - mainly dollars - on foreigners. Because of ongoing fluctuations in the yen/dollar exchange rate, Japanese financial institutions will only willingly hold these dollar claims if the nominal yield on them is substantially higher than on yen assets. In the 1990s to 2002 as US interest rates have come down, portfolio equilibrium has been sustained only when nominal interest rates on yen assets have been forced toward zero. One consequence is the now infamous liquidity trap for Japanese monetary policy. A second consequence is the erosion of the normal profit margins of Japan's commercial banks, leading to a slump in new bank credit and an inability to grow out of the overhang of old bad loans. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • Rishi Goyal & Ronald McKinnon, 2003. "Japan's Negative Risk Premium in Interest Rates: The Liquidity Trap and the Fall in Bank Lending," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 339-363, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:26:y:2003:i:3:p:339-363
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Hoffmann & Gunther Schnabl, 2014. "Monetary Policies of Large Industrialised Countries, Emerging Market Credit Cycles and Feedback Effects," CESifo Working Paper Series 4723, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Alan J. Auerbach & Maurice Obstfeld, 2005. "The Case for Open-Market Purchases in a Liquidity Trap," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 110-137, March.
    3. Rod Tyers, 2012. "Looking Inward for Transformative Growth in China," CAMA Working Papers 2012-15, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    4. Axel Löffler & Gunther Schnabl & Franziska Schobert, 2013. "Limits of Monetary Policy Autonomy and Exchange Rate Flexibility by East Asian Central Banks," Global Financial Markets Working Paper Series 48-2013, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    5. Schnabl, Gunther, 2005. "Der Festkurs als merkantilistische Handelspolitik : Chinas Währungs- und Geldpolitik im Umfeld globaler Ungleichgewichte," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 291, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.
    6. McKinnon, Ronald I., 2004. "The East Asian dollar standard," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 325-330.
    7. Hoffmann, Andreas & Schnabl, Gunther, 2016. "Monetary policies of industrial countries, emerging market credit cycles and feedback effects," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 855-873.
    8. Eric Hillebrand & Gunther Schnabl, 2003. "The Effects of Japanese Foreign Exchange Intervention: GARCH Estimation and Change Point Detection," Departmental Working Papers 2003-09, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
    9. DANNE, Christian & SCHNABL, Gunther, 2008. "A role model for China? Exchange rate flexibility and monetary policy in Japan," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 183-196, June.
    10. repec:pal:assmgt:v:18:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1057_s41260-016-0035-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Vipin Arora & Rod Tyers & Ying Zhang, 2014. "Reconstructing the Savings Glut: The Global Implications of Asian Excess Saving," CAMA Working Papers 2014-20, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    12. Tyers, Rod, 2014. "Looking inward for transformative growth," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 166-184.
    13. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2004. "The Return to Soft Dollar Pegging in East Asia: Mitigating Conflicted Virtue," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 169-201, July.
    14. Schnabl Gunther, 2013. "Die japanischen Lehren für die europäische Krise," Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 62(1), pages 3-22, April.
    15. Matthias Neuenkirch & Matthias Nöckel, 2017. "The Risk-Taking Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission in the Euro Area," Research Papers in Economics 2017-02, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    16. Kristina Spantig, 2015. "International monetary policy spillovers—can the RMB and the euro challenge the hegemony of the US dollar?," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 459-478, December.
    17. repec:ulp:buopee:v:36:y:2017:m:06:i:3 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Jacob Bikker & Tobias Vervliet, 2017. "Bank profitability and risk-taking under low interest rates," DNB Working Papers 560, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    19. Rafiq Sohrab, 2012. "Is Discretionary Fiscal Policy in Japan Effective?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-49, August.
    20. Chengsi Zhang, 2009. "Excess Liquidity, Inflation and the Yuan Appreciation: What Can China Learn from Recent History?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(7), pages 998-1018, July.
    21. Gunther Schnabl, 2015. "Monetary Policy and Structural Decline: Lessons from Japan for the European Crisis," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 14(1), pages 124-150, Winter/Sp.

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